Week 1: The Drive to Collect
From Medici patronage during Renaissance Italy, to the tradition of the European ‘Grand Tour,’ to the investment-driven collecting of recent years, we examine the history of collecting and what compels people to acquire items from the humble to the exalted.
Week 2: The Formation of the Global Market
The tradition of dealing in cultural property has thrived in Europe for centuries. This week we look at where this began, the various markets in which art is traded, and the role of artists, dealers, academia and critics in the formation of the market.
Week 3: The Monetary and Social Value of Art
Supply and demand; this fundamental economic concept applies to the art world just as it does to any market. With art, there are both tangible and intangible qualities that impact value. This week we examine what characteristics contribute to or detract from the value of art as well as the societal and less tangible qualities that lend art value.
Week 4: Who is buying and What are they buying?
Historically, Europe was the hub of the art market, trading largely in its own cultural goods. Since then, New York has taken the lead with China establishing itself as a contender. Who is buying and what are they buying? We look at the new players with purchasing power (such as the Middle East) that helps drive today’s market for modern and contemporary art (generally early 20th century to today).
Week 5: Fakes, Forgeries and the Black Market
Forgeries such as those by infamous painter Wolfgang Beltraachi litter the market; some sources claim that 50% of the artworks on the market are fake. We explore some of the more notorious cases of fakes, systems that have emerged in order to weed out the bad apples, and look at why authentication in the artworld is such a difficult matter, even when millions of dollars are at stake.
Week 6: Technology, Art and the Market
The Internet has significantly broadened the market; a person may purchase an artwork from Vancouver on their phone in Jakarta with one click, sight-unseen. We examine the ways in which technology dovetails with art in both creation (new media art, digital art) and commerce (online art galleries and auctions). What does an increasingly global market mean for the value of art in the future?